Co-Captains Ben Bramhall ’07 and Kentaro Watari ’07 lead a promising group of young Varsity Boys Cross Country runners into a season that is sure to be a successful one. After last season’s second place finish at Interschols, the team looks to take home the championship at the end of the season with the help of a strong core of runners and a few new additions. Head Coach Jeff Domina said about the two able Captains, “Ben and Ken bring remarkable talent and experience to this program. They train and compete with intensity and intelligence, and they know how to look after their teammates. It feels good to be able to depend on such leaders.” Talent runs deep within this impressive group of boys, and while the team will feel the loss of former Captain Sean Hamilton ’06, many able runners with experience will fill the holes. Co-Captain Watari said, “We only lost one runner in Sean from our Varsity seven and the team is looking amazing. We have a strong group of core runners coming back and this year we’re looking for the Interschols win at the end of the season.” Top seniors, including Co-Captains Bramhall and Watari, lead the team in the early season. Although Co-Captain Watari comes into the season recovering from an injury over the summer, he will be an indispensable member of the team once he has fully recuperated. Addison Godine ’07 returns, looking fit and ready after a strong summer of training. Geoff Martin ’07, Alex Hugon ’07 and Jim Elder ’07 also look to step up this year. New senior Evan Moore ’07 joins the team. Co-Captain Watari said, “We have a good group of seniors returning this year and with the addition of Evan we’re looking to add new depth to the group. We’re also seeing a lot of improvement from our JV team from last year, and Jim and Hanson are really stepping it up.” Indeed, Hanson Causbie ’08 looks strong in the early season, and while the team feels the loss of Sean Beckett ’08 to Exeter and Nate Thomas ’08 to a year in Germany, new upper Matt Sternberg ’08 can fill the holes. A strong showing is expected from the talented group of returning lowers. The class of 2009 proved its greatness last year, comprising three of the top seven athletes that ran at Interschols. While Mike Discenza ‘09 suffered from a pulled hip flexor over the summer, his recovery is going smoothly. Eli Howe ’09 and David Wilson ’09 have both worked hard over the summer and will be key players in the team’s success this year. While preseason promises a healthy and pumped group of runners, the boys strongly feel the absence of 2005 Head Coach Jon Stableford, who suffered from a severe illness over the summer and is expected to return in late September. Coach Domina anticipates great things from the team. Coach Domina said, “It’s great to see how the returning runners have developed over the summer and to welcome the new guys. The team feels Coach Stableford’s absence deeply, but he’s on our minds as we run, and we’re looking forward to having him rejoin us as soon as he can.” While the exact members of the Varsity team remain up in the air, the team will run a time trial next Saturday to determine which runners will participate in the team’s preseason Canterbury race. The official race season commences on the Andover course, with the Developmental Invitational. The Invitational will be Andover’s one and only home race. All the other races are away, at Choate, St. Paul’s, N.M.H, and Exeter. The season culminates at Interschols, held at Exeter this year, and Andover looks to dominate the field and fast course in a season destined for greatness.